Black-Bordered Lemon Moth

Marimatha nigrofimbria
Noctuidae (owlet moths)

Adults, as the common name suggests, are yellow, and their wings have a black edge. There are no other lines present. There usually are two dark dots on each forewing. The forewings are often bright yellow with a lustrous or glossy look. The hindwings tend to be more muted.

Wingspan: ¾–1 inch.
Habitat and conservation: 
Larvae will be found where their host plants live, which apparently can include lawns (where smooth crabgrass can thrive) and marshy areas (where saltmarsh morning glory lives—however, this particular morning glory species does not occur in Missouri). The adults are nocturnal fliers that are attracted to lights.
Larvae are known to feed on members of the grass and morning glory families; they may eat other foods, but apparently more study is needed on this species’ life history. The caterpillars of some related moths live in the soil and eat the bases of plants; those caterpillars are often named “cutworms.”
Distribution in Missouri: 
Life cycle: 
Adults fly from April through October. Most owlet moths (noctuids) are nocturnal and are attracted to lights.
Human connections: 
Because smooth crabgrass and saltmarsh morning glory are classified as weeds, the caterpillar’s use of them as food should raise people’s opinion of this species.
Ecosystem connections: 
The caterpillars are herbivores that eat grasses and other plants. The adults apparently drink nectar from flowers and thus serve a role in pollination. The adults are eaten by bats, spiders and many other predators. The caterpillars are likely eaten by moles, shrews and more.
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